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Hall of Shame

Karnataka made it to the Hall of Shame. Please see this report in today's DH.

"This has been confirmed in a 2007-08 survey, conducted by Transparency International India and the Centre for Media Studies, New Delhi. the state which was ranked 17th in a 2005 Transparency International India (TII) survey, has now climbed to the top slot of “very highly corrupt states.”

Not surprised that we have reached the state that we see in Bangalore - non-existent roads, roads developing potholes in 3 months, the raids on various public officials yielding crores of unaccounted money, benami properties, etc.

The Jeevan Bima Nagar Revenue office of the BBMP has been making my wife run around for the past 2 months for a khata transfer. This was to have been done in 45 days. The file is still sitting there. Our plan is to file an RTI for this if this does not get done by this week. If they can make educated people run around, you can imagine what they must be doing to not so educated/illiterate people.


Ravi_D's picture


See the details for yourself - actual report here. I don't know how KA is #1 as DH put it, performance is pathetic never the less.

Notice also that the focus of the study is below poverty line (BPL) families, in select districts. KA study included Bangalore, Raichur, Chitradurga and Bidar.



s_yajaman's picture

Four categories of corruption - KA top slot in V.H.Corrupt

There were 4 categories of corruption

a. Alarmingly high - UP,J&K,Bihar

b. Very Highly corrupt - KA, TN

c. Highly Corrupt - Delhi and some others

d. Moderately corrupt - AP, Maharashtra

From 2005 there was one particular family in power in Karnataka.  Says something? 


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

silkboard's picture

Land - the root cause?

If the study is rooted in Bangalore then perhaps land is the root cause. When small piece of land has the potential to give you so much profit on quick time, corruption is natural - its convenient for both the parties. There is plenty of potential for abusing public authority for private gains - who wouldn't part with a few thousands when the quick killing was in lakhs.

If the study is comprehensive and even about whole KA state and not just Bangalore (I don't know, haven't seen their sample sets in detail), then its worth a question - whats the reason behind KA's ugly rise?

From the theories that I 'hear', this one makes most sense. most biggies in KA govt's machinery have been focused on land (Bengaluru) and mining over last 5-6 years. Naturally, all else has slipped for lack of attention.

spry's picture

slightly better than UP and Bihar

shame on us. I think if possible we can have a meeting with Lokayukta and try to understand what the problem is.

narayan82's picture


I think the Babus are immune to Media Statements! They dont really care! I doubt if they are even concerned in the least!... I thinks its also got to do with the size of the state, and the difference in prices (bangalore soraing while others continued limited growth.) Maybe we should re look at the way the state is governed. Maybe have a deputy CM to take care of North Karnataka and another Deputy to look after Coastal Karanataka. Make sure they are elected locally and hold them responsible for wholesome development. I hope CJ of India, or the SC sets up a panel to monitor the corruption level in India. I wish T N Seshan had made it to president!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
idontspam's picture

Distribution of power

Distribution of power in the govt has been finetuned over the years to ensure nobody specific is held responsible. Lokaukta can raid and discover but not punish, BBMP can build roads but not enforce, police cant build roads but are expected to enforce, Bescom can dig but not relay, BBMP can dig but cant shift lines... these are so cleverly done that no single agency can be responsible and hence money can be made in buck passing. No single person can do any magic unless we supercede these with responsible authorities. Take the recent move to get all transport people under single wing called BMLTA, which would be the ideal solution, but fail to give them any teeth so creating opportunity for a synapse which can make money connecting these cells.
Ravi_D's picture

Re: Distribution of Power

idontspam: Makes a lot of sense. We are trying to set up a meeting with BMLTA to discuss their role. Interested in joining us?




murali772's picture

less government - the answer

The answer is less government - check

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

not really, share the blame

Simply blaming government for corruption won't do. Each bribe is given as well as taken.

  1. How much did you pay for car registration fees when buying your car at the showroom?
  2. How much do you pay as delivery charges when getting that LPG cylinder?
  3. Did you report the complete transaction when you bought or sold you last property?
  4. How much did you pay the insurance surveyer when he came to assess the damage to your vehicle? (this would be a private company)
  5. How much did you pay to the passport or drivers license "agent"? Did you ever wonder why and how he manages to do things for you quick and fast?

If you have ever run your own business, add 10 more such questions here. Yeah, I know sometimes its much faster to "pay" than to wait or "fight". But thats what it is my dear, the two way street called corruption. Its a demand supply game.

It exists everywhere, in all countries. But here, since we all want it fast and quick, and are never willing to join hands for anything at all, it plays out at much more visible lower day to day levels.

We are a part of it. That admission is required first. Government and all are alos a problem, but that comes next.

My two cents. And yes, my answer to question # 1,2 and 5 are yes. #3, and #4 no.

murali772's picture

raaj-less inspection

SB - Your post has prompted me to pull out the following from my personal blog. I had made a convenient differentiation between bribe and 'mamool'. Bribe was when you wanted to jump the queue, whereas 'mamool' was for getting your rightful position in the queue. I had little option other than to come to terms with paying 'mamools'. When the demand became far higher than the term would normally imply is when trouble arose. There were plenty of instances; I can write reams on those. Once, I even went on National television, Nalini Singh interviewing me, and stated it all, inviting the government to arrest me since as the 'giver', I am equally guilty. It's on the back of all these experiences that I am saying that the only solution is less government.

raaj-less inspection

India must easily hold the world record for the number of laws and rules that the country is governed by, though when it comes to compliance and enforcement, I am sure, we would rank right at the bottom. Many of these laws have been handed down from the Britisher's times. And, even though the Britishers may have re-written, or even rescinded many of those that have no relevance in today's world, we still retain them. And, given half a chance, the babu will use it against you to extract his pound of flesh, using his army of inspectors.

As the law minister in the Vajpayee cabinet, Arun Shourie had set himself to address this issue, the then government generally having a liberalist view in these matters. But, inspite of himself, he could not achieve much, giving an indication of the enormity of the task, and the situation improved only marginally, if at all.

Well, like I have stated elsewhere, it is a true testimony to the spirit of Indian entrepreneurship that it is flourishing inspite of all these.

During the times I was running a manufacturing unit, I had set up a kind of a procedure to handle the inspectors who were there almost every second day. From the very beginning itself, I had made sure that we were complying with all the important aspects of the rules, making fresh, even if sometimes costly, investments as were required for the purpose. As such, we had a near perfect set up, which would even then have perhaps been today's ISO 14001 compliant. But, considering the number of laws, and the rules thereunder, and their complexities, it was almost impossible to comply with all the aspects of each of them totally. And, the inspectors had quite perfected the art of looking for these, irrespective of whether they had any direct bearing on the primary concern they were supposed to address.

I had an elderly man for a manager who, after attending to all the paper work meticulously, had himself perfected the art of countering the inspectors' ways, and limiting the 'mamools' to within reasonable limits. We had built ourselves a reputation for taking matters to the highest levels if the inspectors acted too greedy, though this came about through paying some hefty prices in the early stages. Consequently, the inspectors generally collected their mamools at the minimum levels and went away without creating much of a problem.

In such a scenario, the Department of Industries, GoK, alone had the stipulation that the annual certification for compliance under the Boilers & Pressure Vessels Act, be obtained from a 'chartered engineer'. Over the many years that I had been running the unit, I would have had to interact with quite a few of them. Each, without exception, I must record here, went about his task meticulously, earning every pie of the fee he was charging. And, the fee generally was lower than that charged by the other departments who sent their inspectors essentially to collect the mamools in the pretence of the inspection.

Very clearly the 'chartered engineer' route provided the necessary accountability, as well as relief to the industry from the inspector raaj, and therefore provided the ready model for other departments to follow, assuming of course they are looking for one.


Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Succumbing to temptation

Human tempation is such that when money is on offer it will be taken. This happens in any country in the world. There has to be a deterrent which will help people over come this temptation. This is usually prosecution. Loss of job, respect and fear of spending time in Jail are good deterents to overcome temptation.

Today you pay because there are people to accept. Tomorrow even if you pay if people dont accept you will stop trying. Today you jump ahead of traffic moving smoothly because you know you can push other cars around and get away with it. Tomorrow if you find that it is more expensive to jump the queue than stay behind others then you will not do it. Simple psychology really. 

idontspam's picture

CBI turns to SMS to fight corruption

CBI turns to SMS to fight corruption
3 Sep 2008, 0348 hrs IST, Rishikesh Bahadur Desai,TNN

BANGALORE: Have you received the CBI's SMS message seeking complaints against central government employees? Don't be surprised if you have. If you haven't but want to fight a corrupt officer, here is help at hand. Central Bureau of Investigation, the country's premier investigation agency, has started a nation-wide campaign to involve the people in its fight against corruption. 

The campaign is multi-folded. The agency is sending SMS messages inviting complaints and information from people about babus, who demand bribes or have huge assets. People can send information about them through letters, faxes, e-mails, SMS and phone calls. Besides they can post information on the CBI website or meet the officials in person. The scale of the campaign is huge. In Karnataka, the CBI has tied up with the BSNL and sent SMS to all its 18.5 lakh mobile subscribes in a single stroke. 

"The response has been phenomenal. People have been calling us to give leads, clues, information and even incriminating documents. Some however don't seem to believe the CBI can send an SMS and call up just to check,'' CBI SP (anti-corruption) Narasimha Komar said. 

Komar believes the effort will help them in many ways. "The organization can't succeed without public participation. And we need such initiatives to involve the people,'' he said. 

"Many times, the common man who becomes a victim of corruption does not know whom to contact for relief. Also, many people don't know how to cooperate with us. We need to open up channels of communication with the people — working with them is the only way out for us. That is why we are adopting this proactive approach at ensuring people's participation,'' Komar said. If some one can't come to Bangalore to give information, a team of CBI officials will visit him to collect the information. 

Such an effort has yielded good results in Maharashtra. Karnataka is the second state to witness it. It will be extended to the whole country in phases. Complaints will be received against corrupt employees of the central government, PSUs, banks and other financial institutions. The complaints once registered, will be followed up and investigated. 

The identity of the informant will be kept secret. As a matter of policy the CBI does not entertain anonymous or pseudonymous complaints.
ssheragu's picture

Hall oF Shame


good suggestion by spry


we should meet Lok Ayukta and try to find the solution so that the



Srinath Heragu

murali772's picture

Do we have a face to show?

In a popular prime-time television discussion in Germany, the panellist, a member of the German Parliament quoting a blog said: “If all the scams of the last five years are added up, they are likely to rival and exceed the British colonial loot of India of about a trillion dollars.”

For the full text of the column by Mr Mohan Murti, former director, Europe, CII, in the BusinessLine, click                here

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

An excellent article

This is an excellent write up, summarizing India & the pathetic mess that the country is. However, some still believe that we are doing great & that none others can rival our progress since we were a 'democracy'. Some more noteworthy excerpts :

In the European mind, caricature of a typical Indian encompasses qualities of falsification, telling lies, being fraudulent, dishonest, corrupt, arrogant, boastful, speaking loudly and bothering others in public places or, while travelling, swindling when the slightest of opportunity arises and spreading rumours about others. The list is truly incessant.

Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.

One German business daily which wrote an editorial on India said: “India is becoming a Banana Republic instead of being an economic superpower. To get the cut motion designated out, assurances are made to political allays. Special treatment is promised at the expense of the people. So, Ms Mayawati who is Chief Minister of the most densely inhabited state, is calmed when an intelligence agency probe is scrapped. The multi-million dollars fodder scam by another former chief minister wielding enormous power is put in cold storage. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chairs over this kind of unparalleled loot.”

An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.

“In the nastiest business scam in Indian records (Satyam) the government adroitly covered up the political aspects of the swindle — predominantly involving real estate,” wrote an Austrian newspaper. “If the Indian Prime Minister knows nothing about these scandals, he is ignorant of ground realities and does not deserve to be Prime Minister. If he does, is he a collaborator in crime?”

s_yajaman's picture

Asatyameva Jayate and Banana Republic

One can only hang one's head in shame on reading that article as it speaks the bitter truth.

Our PM (personally of high integrity - at least very probably), seems to close his eyes to the sort of corruption and looting that would rival Indonesia's during Suharto's times.  

Look at blockade of Manipur and how little coverage it gets.  And this has been going on for 2 months.  Would any civilized country tolerate this?  Our government's response has been pathetic.  

A CM builds statues for thousands of crores but claims no funds to implement the RTE in her state.

Naveen - we don't have true democracy in our country; please stop blaming democracy for our ills.  We have voting once in 5 years but very little participation in between.


Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

pdk's picture

Interesting that IPL has

Interesting that IPL has found an honourable mention: 

An article in a French newspaper titled “Playing the Game, Indian Style” wrote: “Investigations into the shadowy financial deals of the Indian cricket league have revealed a web of transactions across tax havens like Switzerland, the Virgin Islands, Mauritius and Cyprus.” In the same article, the name of one Hassan Ali of Pune is mentioned as operating with his wife a one-billion-dollar illegal Swiss account with “sanction of the Indian regime”.

Also, the Europeans seem to be including business leaders along with other leaders:

Europeans believe that Indian leaders in politics and business are so blissfully blinded by the new, sometimes ill-gotten, wealth and deceit that they are living in defiance, insolence and denial to comprehend that the day will come, sooner than later, when the have-nots would hit the streets.

Who do we turn to?

Naveen's picture

Sri - I agree

I agree that we are not a 'true' democracy.

My point is that the media & many others boast & keep claiming that we were a 'vibrant' democracy, 'largest', 'have many things in common with USA', etc etc -- the list is endless.

idontspam's picture

See the common thread of

See the common thread of politicians amassing private wealth from public money. I am afraid if they demand to be bought and sold the businesses will oblige. Integrity of the men in power is essential for the country to progress. Like Aesop said "We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to high office"

nl.srinivas's picture

Did the politicians fall from

Did the politicians fall from the sky? They are one among us. The educated section of the society got quick and sometimes easy money riding on the success of globalization. This triggered greed in everyone. Add to that the regressive red tape where ever govt is involved. 

Bottom line we lack honesty and integrity.  Otherwise we as a nation wouldn't be keeping quite with all the corruption around us. We in fact silently encourage corruption at all levels.

murali772's picture

IPL - least of the problems

Interesting that IPL has found an honourable mention

But, for all that, the quality of every product, service, show (including even the cheer-leading) had set new standards, comparable to the best in the world.

Indeed, as a HU member had alleged, it was a classic case of crony capitalism all the way. But, isn't what is going on in the BMTCs, BWSSBs, BESCOMs, crony capitalism too? Every tender awarded can be linked to some politician or the other, just by scratching the surface, the major difference however being in the ever-worsening quality.

And, as far as the public is concerned, the only complaint against IPL is from the I/T angle - matter perhaps of a few hundered crores - chicken feed compared to the kind of ghotala's going on. In fact, when some local politicians tried to harass the KSCA, using the ever ready services of the Excise, sales/ commercial tax mercenaries, since the politicians were not given the number of free passes that they thought they were entitled to, there was nothing they could pin them on. It was then realised that the state coffers had swollen by a few hundred crores of ready cash, all because of IPL.


Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Integrity of leaders primary

IPL may have demonstrated the potential of the country in terms of coming up with good business models (similar to success in IT & other areas - thankfully, these are commanded by men with impeccable character & not subject to interference by politicians), but the truth is that such models will fall by the wayside & become instruments for the powers that control to milk them away as & when they feel like.

That same article also quoted Satyam, which had patronage from politicians in AP besides even multi-national accounting firm/s. Was this not by a private firm & was this not the largest scandal ever ? So was Harshad Mehta, & many others.

I agree with IDS - if politicians & the men in govt (regulators /facilitators) are of low morale, businesses will be no better. Thus, integrity of the men in power is primary & a vital component before anything else.

pdk's picture

World class? Don't think so.

@Muralidhar Rao,

I don't think the quality of every product, service, show has set new standards.  Just infusing money, and the tired faces of Bollywood ('glamour') doesn't result in world-class quality.  Hardly.  Bangalore's IPL match would not have been shifted post-haste to Mumbai if every service had set new standards.  As for the cheerleading - what can one say!  It is the crassest, cheapest trick that could have been played on the spectators.  Why are the ladies there at all?  To make the spectators forget about the fixed cricket?

As for the public having concerns, I don't think the public has any concerns about IPL at all.  They are consuming it as they are consuming whatever Bollywood/TV churns out.  In fact,  during the recent brouhaha one youngster even mentioned on some TV show that he doesn't care about allegations of match fixing etc  "We watch TV serials even though we know what is going to happen.  So we will continue to wath IPL too".

Match-fixing should be the real concern, along with allegations of money-laundering.  Our media will not dig deeper.  Why should they bite the hand that feeds them?  The politicians will not let the truth out - whatever it is.  They are in the game too.  So we will never know the truth.  Meantime the odd cricketer will keep hinting at fixing:

Adam Gilchrist: "It's been discussed among players in the IPL - more wondering whether it goes on. There's a strong thought that we'd be naive to think it's not happening, because it's a pretty easy target. There's a lot of accessibility to players and it's early in its governance," Gilchrist, who is here to play for county side Middlesex, said.

Michael Atherton:    ... one leading former international player told me categorically, albeit off the record because of his fear of reprisals, that fixing was a regular occurrence.

How did the state coffers get filled with hundreds of crores of cash on account of IPL?  Please enlighten me (with links please).  Service tax (nationally) for IPL-I was Rs 64 crore, for IPL-II was 29 crore.  Not sure what the amount was for IPL-III, but it could be around Rs 100 crores.  Meantime, state governments have foregone revenues worth around Rs 1000 crores by not collecting entertainment tax (link for tax figures here). So where did just the Karnataka govt get hundreds of crores from?

Talking about tickets, here is how corporates have been helping IPL evade tax (link: here):

Last month, Income Tax officials were alerted across the country to find out whether IPL officials were fudging tickets and avoiding tax. Their findings were in the affirmative. In a demeaning instance of ‘you scratch my back, I scratch yours’, it appears corporates were buying loads of lower denomination tickets yet accessing box seats that come with complimentary liquor and food. This was helping IPL organisers to avoid paying entertainment tax.

I would love a link to any report of politicians hounding KSCA because they didn't get tickets.  In any case, I don't think KSCA gets to distribute tickets.  It must be the franchisees.

Update: The cheerleading is by no means world class.  In the US (from where it has been imported), cheerleading is treated as something more than doing bodily contortions on a platform wearing skimpy clothes.  They do a lot of acrobatics/gymnastics and other difficult routines with pom poms and stuff.    They even have cheer leading competitions. I think the IPL cheerleaders are not quite top of the line, sorry to say. 

pdk's picture

Innovative business model?


I don't think IPL has demonstrated any such thing as the potential of our country in coming up with good business models.  National Football League, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, American League are all similar if I'm not mistaken.  Also the Champions League, Premier League in European football.  Players are bought by franchises.  Franchisee teams play against each other.  That is the model. 

Even the 20 over format predates IPL.  IPL was just copied from that.

And anyone could've known that politicians were going to be involved in IPL from the get-go.  BCCI was headed by Pawar, state boards routinely have politicians heading them.  So in this case, business people can't claim that they didn't know what they were getting into.  Since no one was forcing them to get into IPL, they can't claim innocence now and claim that the milking began after IPL became a success.  Why step onto dung knowingly?  I on the other hand think the milking is mutual.

murali772's picture

may be nationalise IPL


I would love a link to any report of politicians hounding KSCA because they didn't get tickets

I hadn't conjured that up. I had read it somewhere, not sure where - am not quite as good at digging as sure you are.

Perhaps you would recommend nationalisation of IPL. In fact, there's a mail doing the rounds detailing what it will be if that happens - some excerpts - "Player auctions will be replaced by teams calling for tenders for players - lowest priced players will be picked; Cheerleaders would perform only the cultural dance of the state they represent. Bharatnatyam/ Kathak... Bhangra: Retired Air-India flight attendants will be employed as cheer girls", and so on.


Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

The Never-Ending Story


This tennis match with tossing the ball from side to side can go on without end. The truth in our country is that there are very few men of integrity, either in business or politics, & even those that are of sound character are being forced to allow themselves to be handled by the system, which takes any devious path that the various forces, compulsions, preferences, priorities (& what have you) command it to, having little or no relation whether it's the right way forward, backward, correct or incorrect.

In this forest of conflicts & confusion, blanket assumptions such as all govt can be good or bad, or all private is good or bad cannot be done, unless each has been tested & proven.

Govt has IITs, AIMS, BMTC & others that are performing well. Private has telecom, insurance, IT sector & others that are also performing well.

IPL was more or less a PPP effort (not entirely private, nor govt), but Mr Modi, as commissioner (& several other parties) got too greedy when it tasted success & allowed himself to be handled by the 'system' with various pushes & pulls (typical of the Indian legacy) & this had somehow been opened up for public viewing like all those cheer-leaders, creating a stink all around it.

One thing is true worldwide - monopolies, especially govt monopolies have generally been found wanting almost everywhere as they are very often misused with corruption & graft & have a reputation for not producing the best for consumers & citizens.

srinidhi's picture

Entha marulayya idu..

Sequence of events:

1. Govt conducts the GIM

2. Approves IT parks and other industries around the Devanahalli airport belt

3. Announces land needed for the projects

and..and under the blessings from Minister Katta S Naidu..

4. Holds an auction by KHB, which raised land prices to 16,500/- per sqft in Yelahanka

more here..

5. Who owns major land around the airport is known to all and whos gonna benifit from the new projects is known too..

Duddu Pishachigalu!

And Vajpayee from the same BJP once said 'aakhir ek admi ko kitna chahiye?!'

pdk's picture

Fate of IPL

@Muralidhar Rao,

About wanting 'Nationalisation of IPL' - I'll just cut-and-paste from our earlier HU exchange about this very same thing, when I wrote:

As for IPL's fate, no I don't want it to be nationalised.  Being a recovering cricket fan who gave up following the game after Match Fixing Scam 1 many years ago, I have never watched a single IPL match or read a single report on IPL matches so far (the only IPL I've consumed is over the last week on the news channels).  I believe cricket as it is in our country currently, is nothing but a hanger on which ads for lousy products like the fizzy drinks can be hung.  It is also a money-making enterprise for its practitioners and administrators.  The money is not always made playing the game as it should be played.  I could care less about IPL's fate.  Salman Khurshid said it best "IPL isn't cricket although it looks a bit like it" (see link here).   I'm not sure why the dressing room improvement is relevant to the discussion, since the dressing room was always controlled by a non-public sector entity  (KSCA)  affiliated to a non-public sector entity (BCCI).


You mention that there is enough money for the players not to succumb to match-fixing.  You also note the honor of winning as a motivator for not succumbing to match-fixing.  The IT department apparently has a list of 27 players who were apparently gaming the system.  Owners are also allegedly fixing their team matches.  A friend of Mr Modi's has apparently been in constant touch with more than twenty bookies.  I don't have any hope that all this will be disinfected by sunlight, most probably it will all be swept under the carpet.  Still, the allegations are there.  I would recommend two articles on IPL.  One a serious look : How to feed your billionaires, the other a tongue-in-cheek look by an economist:Economics of honey, flies and IPL.
murali772's picture

that's a relief!


For all the shenanigans it's involved in, BCCI is sufficiently democratic a set-up, to be able to manage its affairs and effect whatever correctives required, and, as long as the government doesn't take over and mess up things, things will straighten out sooner than later.

I have never watched a single IPL match

But, for all that, the TRP ratings broke all records during the season. In fact, a friend of mine, who generally watches only BBC news, has now surprisingly turned an avid T-20 fan, particularly of IPL. And, not just cricket, every other game has evolved over the years to make them more exciting and higher TRP recorders, much to the dislike of the purists. 

Bangalore's IPL match would not have been shifted post-haste to Mumbai if every service had set new standards

The shifting of the match was largely because of some mis-understanding/ communication between BCCI and Bangalore Police/ government. The very act of shifting it such short notice to Mumbai and holding it there successfully tells a lot about their organisational capabilities. Of course, even more telling was the shifting of the IPL-2 to South Africa, and making such a success of it there that every country has since been after BCCI to hold the tournaments in their country.

Match-fixing should be the real concern, along with allegations of money-laundering

Like I had said earlier, the honor of winning, and the cash and other awards on offer presently, are, I would like to believe, enough of a motivator today for not succumbing to match-fixing. There can always be the odd exceptions, but, exceptions they will remain, since the BCCI, the hard core businessmen that it is constituted of, knows full well the value of credibility, without which popularity and thereby TV viewer-ship will get affected, which it cannot afford. And, the very fact that it's the hard-working, disciplined players like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and even the skipper Dhoni that have been coming to the fore rather than the mere flamboyant types is indication that things are quite in order. Money laundering and IT evasions, like I had also said earlier, need be the only concerns as far as the country is concerned.

I think the IPL cheerleaders are not quite top of the line, sorry to say.

I admit I have very little idea of the cheerleading scenario, but, whether promoted in US schools or wherever, I still wouldn't classify it as an art. Why, latest I believe, even pole-dancing has come on to the US school curriculum! But, I certainly can't say that it does not entertain me, as much as say a well done 'item number' in any of our Bollywood masala's. And, I had heard names like 'Washington Redskins' associated with the IPL, which name supposedly was top of the line.

And, lastly, whatever else you may say, Modi and his team have put IPL almost on level with European Football, and US baseball and basketball, even after discounting the damage caused by the shenanigans.  

I wish to rest my case.


Muralidhar Rao
pdk's picture

Some comic relief?

@Muralidhar Rao,

BCCI is democratic? A private monopoly dominated by money bags and shady characters? That is a nice joke. Recollect how the monopoly was created. Through crushing ICL by penalising players wanting to take part in ICL, on account of BCCI being the body responsible for cricket.

One can see the edifying effects of TRP ratings on our TV programming. News channels are closer to entertainment channels. Entertainment channels are proxies for Bollywood on one hand and some highly regressive serials on the other. We cannot get away from this: TV has taken the place of religion as the opiate of the masses. And I fail to understand the significance of a devoted BBC news consumer taking a liking to IPL. Is watching only BBC news some hitherto unknown benchmark of taste?

I'm not sure what the misunderstanding could be about. Mr Bidari was repeatedly giving assurances that the match could be held in Bangalore itself without problems. If it could be held at short notice successfully in Mumbai, then why not hold it at longer notice in Bangalore itself? There were rumours of it being related to match-fixing, but who knows?  Of course every country will want to host IPL. It would be more on account of the moolah they can rake in due to our cricket-crazy nation and people.  It is not for nothing that BCCI is the richest cricket board.

27 cricketers - an exception? How many would need to be involved for it to be more than an 'exception'? As for the honor of winning, less said the better. When the honor of playing for the country couldn't stop players, what of playing for some contrived city team? The young guns have a lot of other things on their minds.  And the hard core businessmen of BCCI know that as long as they can hype it up and serve some Bollywood 'glamour', they are ok. Who really cares about the result? Everyone wants to enjoy their three hours -in the stadium or in fron of the TV.

I never said cheerleading is an art form in the US. The very fact that you immediately bring in pole-dancing and 'item-numbers' is suggestive of the kind of cheerleading being provided in IPL. What are item-numbers doing in an IPL match?

 As for IPL being on the same level to European football and US baseball and basket ball, that surely is an grave accusation against the latter.

murali772's picture


cricket crazy, bollywood crazy, BBC crazy, pole-dancing crazy, item number crazy - what's happening to this world !!! Must the kali-kaala effect! Thank God we still have Doordarshan (still there?).

And, may be BCCI should after all be nationalised (monopolies should only be with the government), and a K P S Gill, Suresh Kalmadi, or Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi (from his hospital bed) requested to take over.

And, US baseball and basketball organisations are paragons of virtue!!! I had thought nothing in that cursed country could be upto any good!

Muralidhar Rao
pdk's picture

And now we descend into farce?

@Muralidhar Rao,

Why do you assume that a criticism of TRP-driven TV programming is a call for a return to the days of DD being the sole channel?  Not a correct assumption.  But yes, one can always reflect on the what our media is turning into.  Maybe some home truths will become obvious.

BCCI should retain its monopoly.  After all, private monopolies are good.

Let's not get into the state of the US.  I'll just note that it is not as healthy as it could be.  But that is a separate discussion.

idontspam's picture

Lokayukta raid details

Name Post Dept City Assets
Kariyanna  revenue officer  BBMP  Yelahanka, Bangalore Owns three commercial buildings, two residential houses and agricultural lands, besides a high-end model car and jewellery
Nagaraj Reddy  village accountant  Panathur village  K R Puram Possesses commercial buildings, sites, residential houses, 20 life insurance policies, one kilogram silver and 232 gram gold jewellery. His bank locker is yet to be opened.
S H Lakshman  ARTO  Electronic City Transport Office  Bangalore Has sites, commercial sites, 38 acre land, two high-end model cars, four bikes and jewellery. 
Eraiah  AE  Zilla Panchayat  Chincholi,  Gulbarga district Rs 3.50 lakh deposit in his bank accounts. Owns lands, farm house, buildings, gold ornaments worth Rs 3.40 lakh and an expensive car. Household articles worth around Rs three lakh
Buddappa  ARTO    Bellary Has acquired irrigated lands, purchased household articles worth Rs 5 lakh, jewellery worth Rs 11.79 lakh, besides expensive cars and two-wheelers
Neelakanta Rathod  joint director  Industries and Commerce Department  Gulbarga Purchased a house for Rs 5.92 lakh in Gulbarga. He spent Rs 35 lakh to renovate his three bedroom house! He has shops and houses, besides one agro-tech fertiliser mixing unit and agricultural lands. He has taken up a Rs 55.27 lakh project to construct a house at Nagarbhavi in Bangalore. He has invested in 15 LIC policies. His bank accounts are to be verified and one locker in Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank is yet to be opened


pdk's picture

Fraud in the stock markets

From Business Line (link):

The call to tighten the norms relating to personal transactions comes in the wake of the SEBI penalising an employee of HDFC AMC for tipping off his close associates about the substantial buying and selling pattern of the AMC so that they could place their orders ahead of the AMC. These associates could square off their positions within the same trading session even as the AMC's orders were coming, thereby making huge profits.

In 2007, a dealer from UTI securities was found guilty of customised front-running in the Ballarpur Industries stock in collusion with employees of two other brokerages and a select group of clients.


The market is rife with cases of front-running thanks to the magnitude of inside information that participants possess and wish to cash-in on.

Please note that HDFC and UTI are not government organisations.  Needless to say, huge amounts can  be (and I'm sure have been) made by front-running.  Of course other tricks like circular trading, manipulating shares, insider trading are pretty widespread.  I can vouch for the same. 

pdk's picture

Fraud/Corruption in the (private) fourth estate

From The Statesman:

On 15 July 2009, S Ramann, Officer on Special Duty, Integrated Surveillance Department of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, wrote to the Chairman, Press Council of India, Justice GN Ray, about media companies entering into “private treaties” with listed companies or those planning initial public offers. Media interests were picking up stakes in them for which they paid in kind: coverage through advertisements, news reports and editorials. Sebi said that such promotional and brand-building strategies in exchange for shares “may give rise to (a) conflict of interest and may, therefore, result in dilution of the independence of (the) press vis-à-vis the nature and content of the news/ editorials relating to such companies”.

Shorn of the language of tact, what Sebi said was that there was a shocking phenomenon of “paid news” that was no longer confined to some corrupt journalists but that it had infiltrated the formal revenue structures of certain (very large) media companies. That, in effect, meant that the reader was receiving advertisements masquerading as news. ...

In Andhra Pradesh alone, the unions of journalists have said the size of the market for “paid news” is between Rs 300-1,000 crore.

Especially note how a 'segment of the media' is trying to remove all mention of itself from the Press Club report on the issue.  What is the fourth estate's role by the way?  I thought it was to publish truth.   More, on the "commercialization" of the fourth estate (link):

It has been known for some time that a few of India’s leading media conglomerates — including Bennett, Coleman & Co., the publisher of The Times of India and The Economic Times — offer what that company calls “innovative” and “integrated” marketing strategies that blur the traditional line between advertising and article content. Bennett, Coleman’s Medianet division, for example, lets advertisers place articles on certain pages in the paper without clearly marking them as advertising.

One of the company’s more aggressive offerings is a product known as a Private Treaty, which offers companies a certain amount of advertising space in exchange for equity stakes in those companies. According to the Private Treaties Web site, Bennett, Coleman now holds such equity stakes in more than 100 companies.


Officially, the companies are only given advertising space. But at least one businessman confirmed to me that it was made clear that he could also expect favorable news coverage.

At the very least, it seems evident that Private Treaties set up a very serious conflict of interest, a point highlighted last year when the Indian stock market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, wrote a letter to the chairman of the Press Council expressing concern about the business practice.

More, from Sucheta Dalal, on Sans Serif. She lists some very interesting headlines for press releases on behalf of the Times group's PT clients.

I've not excerpted the other angle of the private press's corruption. Namely, the selling of space to politicians' and the effect on elections. The Statesman & New York Times articles explore those aspects too. Of course, anyone who has not read P Sainath on the latter aspect is missing out on a learning experience.

idontspam's picture

 may give rise to (a)

 may give rise to (a) conflict of interest and may, therefore, result in dilution of the independence of (the) press vis-à-vis the nature and content of the news/ editorials relating to such companies

This must rank on par with Madhu Koda and his loot. Very criminal indeed.

murali772's picture

farce, farcer, farcest

"Like the brand name of cricket has become IPL" - check this. But, that's by Jug Suraiya, and when has he become the benchmark for balanced opinions, as much as BBC for 'taste' of T V programmes, right?

Psuedos posing as intellectuals seeking utopia, and thereby helping perpetuate the status quo, is the biggest farce that has gone on for long enough.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

what's the big deal?


What's the big deal! Not just the press, but every other body indulges in these kinds of manipulative games. Ultimately, it all gets neutralised. And, if any of them go beyond limits, they will get exposed, and lose credibility.

That the Officer on Special Duty, Integrated Surveillance Department of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, brought the matter to the notice of the Chairman, shows all's well there.

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

 What's the big deal! I was

 What's the big deal!

I was being sarcastic

pdk's picture

Fallacious arguments

@Muralidhar Rao,

Sorry for the delayed response. I'm, sadly, an inveterate procrastinator.

Psuedos posing as intellectuals seeking utopia, and thereby helping perpetuate the status quo, is the biggest farce that has gone on for long enough.

Once you resort to attacking me instead of my argument (argumentum ad hominem, it is called), it means you have lost. But since this is not a game, it means that you have no more arguments to make. Interesting that I came to Praja on your repeated invitations on the Hasiru Usiru list. You seemed to be under the impression that HU was a bit cloistered and that I could change my views if I participated in Praja.

By the way, you make two assumptions which are not true. I don't consider my self an intellectual at all. Far from it. I'm just another guy who reads the newspapers and sometimes watches TV but doesn't swallow everything they purvey as gospel. Neither am I in favour of the status quo. Far from it.

And, if any of them go beyond limits, they will get exposed, and lose credibility.

What would the Times of India & Economic Times have to do more than selling editorial content and news space for money, for their readers to give up? Because the readers haven't yet. They are, I believe, still widely read, with ToI being the highest selling English daily in the world.

That the Officer on Special Duty, Integrated Surveillance Department of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, brought the matter to the notice of the Chairman, shows all's well there.

Well, the Officer's actions are commendable. All the more so, since they come nearly 5 years after everyone seems to have known about this :-) What effect will he have? I can only guess. But meantime, all seems to be well.

  As for Bagchi Karkaria, sorry, I don't read ToI so I wouldn't know. The few times I have read her (long ago), I've found that she has a certain felicity with English.

pdk's picture

Criminality or corruption?


Sorry for the delayed response. As I mentioned in the reply to Sri Muralidhar Rao, I tend to procrastinate.

This must rank on par with Madhu Koda and his loot. Very criminal indeed.

Let me note at the outset that neither does the list you posted add up to Madhu Koda's loot. Nor to the Reddy brothers' loot. But to your actual argument, two points:

1. How come we've suddenly shifted to 'criminality' in a post which discusses corruption? Times of India and Economic Times are making money by selling advertorial and news space for money. But a typical readers of theirs doesn't know about it. Newspapers are supposed to print the truth. Thus what ToI/ET are doing is corruption which is resulting in fraud being perpetrated on its readers. As to the extent of money being made - I don't think it is negligible. Why would they do it if it is? The effect on its readers is not benign. As Sacheta Dalal (a former Times of India employee), puts it:

If you are an investor who depends on India’s largest-selling economic newspaper for unbiased news, then you must know and understand the concept of “private treaties” (PT). Since The Times of India (TOI) far outsells every other English newspaper and The Economic Times is by far the market leader in the economic news category, the concept is of universal interest.

I believe a lot of unsophisticated investors are putting money directly into the stock market, not knowing about 'Private Treaties'. Will their behaviour be affected by these planted stories? I'm sure there are other publications doing it too. I myself remember a huge sycophantic cover story about Mr Adani, in a weekly (The Week I think), just before the Adani Power IPO. Now he is nowhere to be seen or heard. How much did he pay for the cover story? How many people invested based on that cover story? As to our TV business channels, it is noticeable that they have stopped asking their guests for disclosure (of their interest in the stocks they discuss on the show). Are the guests being completely neutral?  I know people shouldn't be investing unless they know what they are getting into, but that hasn't stopped them so far.

2. Hope the mention of the size (500-1000 crores) of the 'paid news' market in 'AP alone' did not escape your attention.

I'm not defending the corruption of anybody. I'm just pointing out that it is widespread. 


idontspam's picture


Let me note at the outset that neither does the list you posted add up to Madhu Koda's loot. Nor to the Reddy brothers' loot

Unfortunately for you these people are small fries that they could only collect a few crores and not the thousands of crores you friends have managed. But take heart, your wish might come true as prosecution of elected officials isnt very common, maybe they will be let off.

How come we've suddenly shifted to 'criminality' in a post which discusses corruption?

In the same way that you discuss IMF in a post which talks about Bandh as an outdated means of protest. At least I believe corrpution by government officials by amassing public money is criminal, which apparently you dont agree that they coorelate.

pdk's picture

Well, well, well...


'you friends'

Again - ad hominem attacks!   Why do you think I want elected officials to be let off.  Strange.

The same way you discuss IMF in a post which talks about Bandh as an outdated means of protest.

Maybe you could point me to the post in which I do that.  I seem to have posted something without myself being aware of it :-)

At least I believe corrpution by government officials by amassing public money is criminal, which apparently you dont agree that they coorelate.

I on the other hand believe corruption is corruption - whether government officials do it or businesses masquerading as newspapers.  And I believe corruption is a symptom of the deeper problem - greed.

murali772's picture

resting my case, once again


Please rest assured that that I am not spending sleepless nights here waiting to see your response.

The 'argumentum ad hominem' is not always fallacious, for in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue - that's from Wikipedia. And, that's a very general statement, to which I am not adding anything more.

The invitation to HU members to come onto PRAJA was of a general nature (and, not specifically addressed to you), and the invitation again was to engage in meaningful interaction. Yes, initially, your delving into some relevant studies by PRAYAS on power issues, I found quite interesting, and I too learnt from it. But, subsequently, when you continued with your Utopian preachings, making 'duh' statements like the present "newspapers are supposed to print the truth", engaging with you has plainly become a tedious exercise. And, that's why I had tried to close the discussions saying 'I rest my case'.

And, don't worry, I am not accusing you of being an intellectual. And, as for being a status-quoist, well, it's not enough just denying it. That's where things will land up, if the overall thinking goes your way.

I do subscribe to TOI. There's enough of good writing in it too. Yes, it's a lot commercialised. But, just because of that, I won't deny myself the opportunity to read the good articles in it, unlike you. And, that clearly shows where the problem lies, and also why there can't be much of a meaningful engagement. And, posting on PRAJA is totally voluntary.


Muralidhar Rao
pdk's picture

3 Apologies

@Muralidhar Rao

Three apologies.

1. For implying that you were eagerly waiting for my responses. No, I was merely explaining my responses suddenly appearing after a few days of dormancy.
2. For claiming that your invitations to Praja were directed to me specifically. I realised that they were to all - especially some vocal and argumentative - members of the HU list.
3. For implying that you considered me an intellectual - so presumptuous of me. You were only accusing me of 'posing' as one!

  As for the rest of your reply, let's see. Expecting the honour of winning to stop players from fixing IPL matches. Not utopian. Expecting newspapers to print the truth. Utopian. Makes sense.

Its interesting, posting on Praja. Sudden personal references. Then a commenter (idontspam) suddenly mistakes me for Public Agenda. If anyone looked even cursorily at a post by PA and then a post by me, it should be so obvious that the styles don't match! I know no one would be interested in or have the time for doing that, but if they did they would know. Probably it is a mental optimisation thing - makes things simpler mentally.  Mystifying nevertheless.

Still, I'll probably continue posting on Praja. I'm sure I can learn something from this community.

idontspam's picture

 Then a commenter (idontspam)

 Then a commenter (idontspam) suddenly mistakes me for Public Agenda. 

Thats true, my bad. Really though you believe criminality and corruption is not corelated? tch tch.

pdk's picture

It doesn't matter


Sure, corruption when done by a public official may be tried under criminal law.  All power to them if they are able to put all corrupt public officials, politicians, ministers, judges, etc in the cooler.  But the point I'm trying to make is that corruption is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our society and that it (corruption) is quite widespread.  Just because it is not covered under Indian criminal law doesn't excuse it.  And I gave some examples to illustrate how corruption is not restricted to the small fry who happen to be paid by the government. comment guidelines

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